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02.07.17

Links 7/2/2017: RethinkDB at the Linux Foundation, Kodi 17.0 Release

Posted in News Roundup at 4:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source object storage startup OpenIO adds hardware

    Up to 96 nano nodes fit in OpenIO’s SLS-4U96 chassis. Each ARM CPU manages a single high-capacity disk and a small amount of flash storage for fast metadata access.

  • Gluster Founder Has Big Plans for Container Storage

    The founder of Gluster is ready to push storage further, as his new startup, Minio, is announcing general availability of its container-based object storage yesterday.

    The catch is that it’s not really about storage — not in the long term. Minio founder Anand Babu (AB) Periasamy — who wrote the open source GlusterFS file system and also founded the startup Gluster, now owned by Red Hat — says his Palo Alto, California-based company is about data — specifically, using the data to help pay for the storage.

  • An inside look at why Apache Kafka adoption is exploding

    Apache Kafka, the open source distributed streaming platform, is making an increasingly vocal claim for stream data “world domination” (to coin Linus Torvald’s whimsical initial modest goals with Linux). Last summer I wrote about Kafka and the company behind its enterprise rise, Confluent. Kafka adoption was accelerating as the central platform for managing streaming data in organizations, with production deployments of Kafka claiming six of the top 10 travel companies, seven of the top 10 global banks, eight of the top 10 insurance companies, and nine of the top 10 US telecom companies.

  • A graduate degree could springboard you into an open source job

    Tech companies often prefer hiring those who have open source experience because quite simply open source experience is more valuable. This preference is only growing stronger now that open source software dominates the industry and free and open source hardware is gaining momentum. For example, a Indeed.com salary analysis shows that jobs with the keywords “Microsoft Windows” have an average salary of $64,000, while jobs with the keyword “Linux” have an average salary of $99,000. Enough said.

    There are many good open source jobs available to those with Bachelor’s degrees, but if you want to control your destiny, a higher degree will give you the freedom to be paid more for following your interests.

    This was very important to me when deciding what education I would choose, and I think it is true of most other PhDs. However, even if you do not put much stock in intellectual freedom, there is a pretty easy case to be made for “doing it for the Benjamins.”

  • Google is Set to Open Source Google Earth Enterprise

    With 2017 ramping up, Google is on an absolute tear as it open sources impactful new projects. Just recently, it open sourced a series of 3D graphics and virtual reality toolsets. And, we covered the arrival of Google’s Tilt Brush apps and virtual reality toolsets as open source contributions.

    Now, in a post on the Geo Developers blog, Google has announced that it plans to open source Google Earth Enterprise (GEE), the enterprise product that lets developers build and host their own maps and 3D globes.

  • Events

    • DevConf.cz 2017

      Another edition of DevConf.cz took place last week. It was already the second edition I didn’t organize. This year, I was involved in the organization even less, just helping with the program and serving as a session chair for one day. So I could enjoy the conference more than ever before.

    • PyLadies Pune Meetup – February 2016

      The PyLadies Pune February Meetup was held on 6th Feb at reserved-bit. Kushal took a session on MicroPython on the MicroBit boards. Thanks to @ntoll for sending over the MicroBits for workshops.

    • PyCon India 2016

      Heya! First of all I’m really sorry for such a delay with PyCon India 2016 blog post.

    • Using Mesos to Drive Devops Adoption at Scale at GSShop
    • From Yawn-Driven Deployment to DevOps Tipping Point

      GS Shop is one of the largest TV shopping networks in Asia, and one of the largest e-commerce sites in Korea with more than 1000 employees and 1.5 million users daily. Vivek Juneja of GS Shop’s Container Platform Team, at MesosCon Asia 2016, shares how he and his team moved this behemoth to the new agile way of running the datacenter.

      We know that change is not easy, and Juneja shares many valuable insights in how to successfully manage completely revamping your IT department. Progress is hard even when the old way is difficult. Juneja describes their old practice of “yawn-driven deployment”: “We practice something called Yawn-Driven Deployment, deploying at 3:00 a.m. That’s what we were doing for a long time. Everybody gets together at 3:00 a.m. It’s a party. We deploy, and we have a lot of yawns, and that code goes to production.” Nobody really like working this way, but it’s what they are used to.

    • Redox OS, MINIX, Hurd & Genode Had Their Time At FOSDEM Too

      While Linux is the most prominent operating system each year at the Free Open-Source Developers’ European Meeting (FOSDEM), it’s not a conference limited to just Linux. Once again there was a developer room dedicated to other operating systems like the Rust-written Redox OS.

    • FOSDEM 2017 is finished…

      One big job that needs to happen after the conference is to review and release the video recordings that were made. With several hundreds of videos to be checked and only a handful of people with the ability to do so, review was a massive job that for the past three editions took several months; e.g., in 2016 the last video work was done in July, when the preparation of the 2017 edition had already started.

    • [diaspora] The state of diaspora* and the decentralized social world

      The decentralized social world is on. It’s been four years since the project was transferred to its community. Discover with us what we accomplished and where we’d like to go.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Files Brief Against U.S. Immigration Executive Order

        Mozilla filed a legal brief against the Executive Order on immigration, along with nearly 100 other major companies across different industries.

        We joined this brief in support of the State of Washington v. Trump case because the freedom for ideas and innovation to flow across borders is something we strongly believe in as a tech company. More importantly it is something we know is necessary to fulfill our mission to protect and advance the internet as a global public resource that is open and accessible to all.

  • Databases

    • Stratoscale Snaps Up Tesora, Focused on Database-as-a-Service

      For quite some time now, as the OpenStack cloud computing arena has grown, a whole ecosystem of tools is growing along with it. Tesora, familiar to many as the leading contributor to the OpenStack Trove open source project, has focused very heavily on Database-as-a-Service tools for OpenStack deployments. The company has also developed a promising partnership with OpenStack heavy-hitter Mirantis.

      Now, Stratoscale, a startup focused on AWS-compatible environments within enterprise data centers, has acquired Tesora. The terms of the deal aren’t announced, but it could take Tesora in new directions.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • My BSD sucks less than yours

      Instead of speaking about successful parts of the projects, this talk will focus on the weakness of both OpenBSD and FreeBSD, exploring conceptual differences between them and also exploring directions where motivated contributors can start working on to improve the projects. While being general purpose operating systems we will see that one size doesn’t fit all and how one or the other may be a better solution to a particular problem. Trolls are to be left at the door.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • RISC-V Port Lands In GCC 7 Codebase

      Last month the RISC-V GCC port was approved for landing in GCC 7 while today that merge finally happened.

      The RISC-V GCC port has been a work in progress for a long time and was held up by university lawyers while that was all cleared up, the code went through a few rounds of code revisions, and the steering committee approved landing RISC-V support even as the codebase has moved onto only bug/regression fixes. Today all of that code finally was merged into the GCC7 code-base.

    • GNU’s ddrescue For Disk Recovery Updated With New Options

      GNU ddrescue continues work on being a capable data recovery tool for copying data from a file or block device to another, doing more than just the dd command. GNU ddrescue 1.22 was released over the weekend as the newest version of this tool.

    • ZeroStack’s plans for self-driving in the cloud, Loom Systems’ analytics platform, and GNU C Library releases version 2.25—SD Times news digest: Feb. 6, 2017

      GNU C Library v2.25 available

      The GNU C Library, which is the library in the GNU system and in the GNU/Linux systems, released version 2.25 yesterday.

      The library is primarily designed to be a portable and high-performance C library. The news that comes along with this release includes the “feature test macro __STDC_WANT_LIB_EXT2__, from ISO/IEC TR 24731-2:2010, is supported to enable declarations of functions from that TR. Note that not all functions from that TR are supported by the GNU C Library,” according to its release notes.

    • GNU C Library 2.25 released
    • Wilber week 2017: our report

      I’ll talk more on this later in a dedicated post, detailing what is there or not, and why, with feedback on the Flatpak project.
      Bottom line: GIMP will have an official Flatpak, at least starting GIMP 2.10!

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • About Cheap Junk…

      Intel won’t even tell its shareholders how much the damage is. Lots of ordinary customers are probably past their guaranteed lifetime and SOL. Meanwhile, I pay lower prices for stuff that isn’t from Intel and I’m OK.

    • Intel’s Atom C2000 chips are bricking products – and it’s not just Cisco hit

      Intel’s Atom C2000 processor family has a fault that effectively bricks devices, costing the company a significant amount of money to correct. But the semiconductor giant won’t disclosed precisely how many chips are affected nor which products are at risk.

      On its Q4 2016 earnings call earlier this month, chief financial officer Robert Swan said a product issue limited profitability during the quarter, forcing the biz to set aside a pot of cash to deal with the problem.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • EU nurses ‘need clarity’ after registrations fall by 90%

      The NHS could not cope without EU nurses and the government must offer clarity over their working rights, the Royal College of Nursing says.

      The number of European nursing staff registering in the UK has fallen by 90% since the Brexit referendum, figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council show.

    • Green Party: Health tourism is not the real threat to our NHS, underinvestment is

      “It was also revealed today that nine in 10 hospitals have reached unsafe levels of overcrowding so far this winter [2] and one in six A&Es may be closed or downgraded over the next few years [3]. It’s clear our NHS is in a dire state but the Government seems more interesting in pushing the blame for this crisis onto foreign patients.

      “Health tourism is not the real threat to our NHS, underinvestment is. The biggest impact that foreign born people have on our NHS is as doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. It’s time the Government owns up to its own failure rather than attempting to shift the blame elsewhere.”

    • Pharma Joins Atomic Energy Agency On Cancer Treatment Training In Poor Countries

      Seeking to address the growing issue of cancer, and in particular the lack of access to diagnosis and treatment in low and middle-income countries, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have entered into a collaboration.

      IFPMA said in a press release that it will support the IAEA Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT).

      This is the first collaboration of its kind and “will open new avenues for joint public-private efforts to curb cancer,” according to the release

    • Online mapping tool gives FGM runaways a path to help

      An online crowdmapping tool being used to chart unmarked villages in remote parts of Tanzania is helping young runaways escaping female genital mutilation (FGM) find their way to safety.

      Last month global mappers, working with people on the ground in Tanzania, caused the disruption of a planned FGM ceremony on a teenage girl by using open-source maps and smartphones to find her. The 16 year old was freed from the home in which she had been locked ahead of the ceremony, which though illegal under Tanzanian law is still practised in some regions. An estimated 15% of women and girls aged between 15 and 49 in the country have undergone the procedure.

    • Anti-FGM campaign launched in UK to mark global day of opposition

      A national campaign carrying the symbol of a red triangle will be rolled out across the UK to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

      The National Police Chiefs’ Council has partnered with the Freedom charity to encourage people to provide the police with information that can help detect and prevent FGM in the UK and abroad.

    • Bristol anti-FGM video is an online hit

      A youth-led charity has had online success with a music video that rejects claims that there are “minor” forms of female genital mutilation (FGM). Integrate UK created #MyClitoris to educate on the impact of Types I and IV FGM. The video has praised by Lily Allen and Caitlin Moran.

      The video, which has over 15,000 views was initially inspired by an article in The Economist, which suggested there were “minor” forms of FGM – the partial or full removal of the female genitalia for non-medical reasons.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • There are no militant moderates in security
    • Exploit for Windows DoS zero-day published, patch out on Tuesday?
    • Ransomware Attack Left DC Police Surveillance Blind Shortly Before The Innauguration

      Once exclusively the domain of hospitals with comically-bad IT support, crippling ransomware attacks are increasingly beginning to impact essential infrastructure. Just ask the San Francisco MTA, whose systems were shut down entirely for a spell last fall after a hacker (with a long history of similar attacks) managed to infiltrate their network, forcing the MTA to dole out free rides until the threat was resolved. Or you could ask the St. Louis public library network, which saw 16 city branches crippled last month by a bitcoin-demanding intruder.

      We’ve also seen a spike in ransomware attacks on our ever-expanding surveillance and security apparatus, DC Police acknowledging this week that 70% of the city’s surveillance camera DVRs were infected with malware. The infection was so thorough, DC Police were forced to acknowledge that city police cameras were unable to record much of anything during a three day stretch last month…

    • Hackers hit D.C. police closed-circuit camera network, city officials disclose

      Hackers infected 70 percent of storage devices that record data from D.C. police surveillance cameras eight days before President Trump’s inauguration, forcing major citywide reinstallation efforts, according to the police and the city’s technology office.

    • Network protection laws ‘may have opposite effect’

      Laws that have been proposed by the Australian Government to guard communications networks and businesses from cyber attack and sabotage may have the opposite effect from that intended, a coalition of industry groups has warned.

      The warning came jointly from the Australian Industry Group, the Australian Information Industry Association, the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association and Communications Alliance in a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

    • Russians Engineer a Brilliant Slot Machine Cheat—And Casinos Have No Fix

      In early June 2014, accountants at the Lumiere Place Casino in St. Louis noticed that several of their slot machines had—just for a couple of days—gone haywire. The government-approved software that powers such machines gives the house a fixed mathematical edge, so that casinos can be certain of how much they’ll earn over the long haul—say, 7.129 cents for every dollar played. But on June 2 and 3, a number of Lumiere’s machines had spit out far more money than they’d consumed, despite not awarding any major jackpots, an aberration known in industry parlance as a negative hold. Since code isn’t prone to sudden fits of madness, the only plausible explanation was that someone was cheating.

      Casino security pulled up the surveillance tapes and eventually spotted the culprit, a black-haired man in his thirties who wore a Polo zip-up and carried a square brown purse. Unlike most slots cheats, he didn’t appear to tinker with any of the machines he targeted, all of which were older models manufactured by Aristocrat Leisure of Australia. Instead he’d simply play, pushing the buttons on a game like Star Drifter or Pelican Pete while furtively holding his iPhone close to the screen.

    • SSL or IPsec: Which is best for IoT network security?

      Internet of Things (IoT) devices are soon expected to outnumber end-user devices by as much as four to one. These applications can be found everywhere—from manufacturing floors and building management to video surveillance and lighting systems.

    • The barriers to using IoT in healthcare: What’s stopping the Internet of Things from transforming the industry?

      Big things are expected of the Internet of Things (IoT) in a plethora of industries, and healthcare is no exception. The market is poised to reach $117 billion by 2020 according to business intelligence company MarketResearch.com.

      IoT covers a broad spectrum of interconnected devices communicating across the net that together can have benefits for the treatment of patients, the workloads of practitioners, and the wealth of the nation.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Mail on Sunday launches the first salvo in the latest war against climate scientists

      In this new political era, climate scientists and their science are under attack. The attack is from multiple fronts, from threats to pull funding of the important instruments they use to measure climate change, to slashing their salaries and jobs. But there is a real fear of renewed personal attacks, and it appears those fears are now being realized. What the attackers do is identify and isolate scientists – a process termed the “Serengeti Strategy” by well-known and respected scientist Michael Mann who suffered these types of attacks for years.

    • Green party councillor arrested at Sheffield tree protest

      A Green party councillor was among seven people arrested after a standoff with police during the latest protest against tree-felling in Sheffield.

      Alison Teal and six others were detained on suspicion of preventing workmen from chopping down a tree in Chippinghouse Road, Nether Edge, at about 9.30am on Monday.

      Teal’s partner, Simon Crump, accused the police of “ramping up the situation” and “turning a peaceful demonstration into a mass arrest”.

      South Yorkshire police said four women and three men had been arrested on suspicion of preventing lawful work under section 241 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1992.

      The protest was the latest in an increasingly bitter dispute over the city council’s plans to remove hundreds of roadside trees deemed to be dangerous. A total of 12 people have now been detained by police over tree-felling protests in Sheffield since November.

    • Standing Rock Sioux Speak Out Following Violent Removal Of Water Protectors

      The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is set to press on in its legal battle against the Dakota Access pipeline Monday after leaders issued statements over the weekend condemning recent violence against demonstrators and clarifying that they don’t want to see activists forcibly removed from the protest site.

      They also have called on allies to join the tribe in demanding a fair legal review of the multi-billion dollar project that U.S. President Donald Trump plans to usher through to completion.

      On Wednesday, law enforcement officers arrested 76 protesters who were camped on land owned by the Dakota Access pipeline’s developer, Energy Transfer Partners. While the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said leaders were working with federal authorities to stabilize the situation at the protest site, they indicated that they did not want protestors to be arrested or ousted from the spot by force.

    • Trump and Climate Catastrophe
    • Toxic Wildfires Causing Pollution, Climate Disruption, Etc. Funded by Big Banks & US Investors in Palm Oil

      Unfortunately, as the article points out, the truth is that HSBC is one of the lenders responsible for funding that led to a massive deforestation of Indonesia’s tropical rain forests without the “free, prior and informed consent” of local communities.” Their claims they did not act “knowingly” ring hollow.

    • Some notes on the worst-case scenario

      Confession time: I’m an optimist, especially about the ideas of social progress that emerged in Europe at the end of the middle ages and became mainstream in western politics in the early 20th century. I called the outcome of the Brexit referendum wrong (by underestimating the number of racist bigots and Little Englanders in the UK population: Brexit is a proxy for English nationalism, which is absolutely not the same as British nationalism), and I called the US presidential election wrong (underestimating the extent of gerrymandering and micro-targeted black propaganda driven by data mining in the campaign).

      Since January 20th we’ve seen a degree and type of activity emanating from the new US administration that is markedly different from anything in my politically aware lifetime (loosely: since Reagan). Blanket bans on entry to the USA by anyone associated with certain nationalities, mass firings at the State Department, a president railing against a “so-called judge”, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff being booted off the National Security Council and replaced by a white nationalist ideologue, and a former CEO of Exxon in the Cabinet: what’s going on?

    • Thousands Turn Out in Downtown L.A. to Protest Trump’s Orders on Keystone, Dakota Pipelines

      Thousands of people converged on downtown Los Angeles on Sunday to protest the proposed $3.8-billion Dakota Access pipeline, which activists across the country say threatens the water supply and sacred sites of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota.

    • Standing Rock Sioux want ‘no forcible removal’ of protesters from Dakota Access pipeline site

      Standing Rock Sioux Tribe officials said this weekend that although they were working with federal authorities to stabilize the situation at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest site, they were not calling on law enforcement to forcibly remove activists there.

      After months of protests, both tribal officials and residents in the town of Cannon Ball, N.D., have asked those opposed to completion of the controversial, 1,170-mile pipeline to leave. A few hundred activists remain, both on the Standing Rock Sioux’s reservation and on neighboring land.

  • Finance

    • The High Cost of a Home Is Turning American Millennials Into the New Serfs

      American greatness was long premised on the common assumption was that each generation would do better than previous one. That is being undermined for the emerging millennial generation.

      The problems facing millennials include an economy where job growth has been largely in service and part-time employment, producing lower incomes; the Census bureau estimates they earn, even with a full-time job, $2,000 less in real dollars than the same age group made in 1980. More millennials, notes a recent White House report, face far longer period of unemployment and suffer low rates of labor participation. More than 20 percent of people 18 to 34 live in poverty, up from 14 percent in 1980.

    • The End Of The Level Playing Field

      I am old enough to remember the gogo days of cable TV when entrepreneurs who wanted to launch a new cable channel would go, hat in hand and cap table in tow, to the big cable companies and beg to get distribution on their networks.

      When the Internet came along in the early 90s, we saw something completely different. Here was a level playing field where anyone could launch a business without permission from anyone.

      We had a great run over the last 25 years but I fear it’s coming to an end, brought on by the growing consolidation of market power in the big consumer facing tech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, etc, by the constricted distribution mechanisms on mobile devices, and by new leadership at the FCC that is going to tear down the notion that mobile carriers can’t play the same game cable companies played.

      [...]

      It is sad to see this era ending. It was a lot of fun and quite profitable too. I am hopeful that some new competitive vector, like the Internet, will come along and make all of this moot and we are spending a lot of our time looking for it. Because backing startups on a field tilted in the favor of the incumbents is not fun and not particularly profitable either.

    • Brexit: British workers ‘facing explosion of zero-hours contracts and fewer rights’

      British workers face “cut-rate, bottom-of-the-league protections” after Brexit, with more zero-hours contracts and fewer guarantees over holiday and equal pay, the TUC has warned, as it publishes a damning report highlighting the soaring number of insecure jobs in the UK.

      The number of workers without guaranteed hours or basic employment rights has risen by more than 660,000 in the past five years, the study found.

      Labour said an “explosion” of insecure jobs was likely unless fundamental workers’ rights were protected.

      And the dire situation many employees now face is predicted to intensify once the Government drags the UK out of the EU.

    • Watch Mister Rogers Defend Public Programming In This Vintage Video

      Decades ago, Fred Rogers, host of the classic show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” gave a moving speech to the U.S. Senate defending public programming, and his words seem more important now than ever.

      After being elected in 1968, President Richard Nixon showed his support for cutting federal funding in half for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Rogers responded to the president’s proposal in 1969 with a passionate speech in front of the Senate’s Subcommittee on Communications.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Trump might regret this tweet when he goes to meet the Queen

      During what seemed to be a successful visit with UK Prime Minister Theresa May at the White House Friday, Trump announced he had accepted an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II for a state visit later this year with first lady Melania.

      But Trump’s tweeting past might make the royal visit trip slightly uncomfortable. More than four years ago, Trump tweeted out some thoughts on Kate Middleton sunbathing in the nude and his thoughts on her looks.

      [...]

      The sunbathing incident Trump was tweeting about refers to photographers, who are now on trial, who allegedly took photos of a topless Middleton. The photos were then leaked to the press.

    • The House can start impeachment against Trump now

      Much of the public is eager for the impeachment of President Trump. A poll last week found that 40 percent of Americans already “support” impeaching him, and the same survey — by highly regarded Public Policy Polling — found that another 12 percent are “not sure.”

      From the outset of his presidency, Trump has been violating the U.S. Constitution in a way that we have not seen before and should not tolerate. It’s time for members of Congress to get the impeachment process underway.

      The Constitution states that to start impeachment proceedings, a document or “resolution calling for a committee investigation of charges against the officer in question” must be introduced in the House of Representatives. Such a move would have been appropriate from the moment that Trump became president.

      As documented in depth on the ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org website — where more than 600,000 people have already signed a petition for impeachment — the president continues to violate two “emoluments” clauses in the Constitution. One prohibits any gifts or benefits from foreign governments, and the other prohibits the same from the U.S. government or any U.S. state.

    • Skynet: Trump campaigned like a crappy AI, and now he’s governing like one, too

      Cathy “Weapons of Math Destruction” O’Neil nailed Trump’s tactics when she compared him to a busted machine-learning algorithm, throwing a ton of random ideas out, listening for his base to cheer the ones that excited their worst instincts, and then doubling down on them.

      Now, in office, Trump has doubled down on that tactic, but while his feedback mechanism during the campaign was the crowds of angry racists who came to his rallies, today, he mostly plays for a single racist, Steve Bannon, who serves as surrogate for all the xenophobes and frightened people whose adulation steered Trump during the campaign.

    • Donald Trump Is the Singularity

      There’s been some controversy over when Donald Trump decided to run for president. Some say it was at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, when he was roasted by both Seth Meyers and President Obama. I think it happened much earlier: August 29th, 1997, the date that Skynet became self-aware.

    • Trump Really IS Creating Jobs! – ACLU To Hire 200 Lawyers & Staff Thanks to Massive Donations

      Trump promised that he would create jobs once president, but he could have never guessed that the jobs he would create would be those in stark opposition of everything he stands for.

      Thanks to the massive influx of donations to the ACLU, the legal organization has announced that they will be hiring 200 additional staff members, most of them attorneys, to join their team and fight for Americans’ civil liberties.

    • Europe Must Defend Itself Against A Dangerous President

      There are times in life that really do count. Times when a person’s character is revealed, when the important is separated from the unimportant. Soon decisions are taken that will determine the further path a person takes. With some, this can be tragic, and the moment comes too soon in their youth at a time when they aren’t mature enough yet to foresee all the potential consequences. They make the decisions cheerfully and they lead to either luck or bad luck. But countries and governments are seldom as innocent when it comes to their decisions.

      That’s the kind of situation now approaching. The people who will soon have to decide are already grown up. They now have to start preparing, even if it will be painful.

      Germany must stand up in opposition to the 45th president of the United States and his government. That’s difficult enough already for two reasons: Because it is from the Americans that we obtained our liberal democracy in the first place; and because it is unclear how the brute and choleric man on the other side will react to diplomatic pressure. The fact that opposition to the American government can only succeed when mounted together with Asian and African partners — and no doubt with our partners in Europe, with the EU — doesn’t make the situation any easier.

    • Trump administration is radicalizing Democratic voters, creating a challenge for the party, Rep. Adam Schiff says
    • Alaska Sen. Sullivan takes a new shot at breaking up the 9th Circuit court

      Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan is hoping this is the year to bring to fruition a decades-long desire of Western Republicans: splitting up the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

      They say it’s overloaded and overly liberal. But they’ll still face the difficulty of getting a plan past California Democrats, who have traditionally wanted nothing of it.

      Sullivan and Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana have introduced two bills. One establishes a commission to study the appeals court system and find a quick and effective way to divide up the 9th Circuit’s caseload. The other would split the court into two: the 9th Circuit and a newly created 12th Circuit. The 9th Circuit would include California, Guam, Hawaii and the Northern Mariana Islands. The new circuit would include Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

    • Trump’s lies are not the problem. It’s the millions who swallow them who really matter

      Compulsive liars shouldn’t frighten you. They can harm no one, if no one listens to them. Compulsive believers, on the other hand: they should terrify you. Believers are the liars’ enablers. Their votes give the demagogue his power. Their trust turns the charlatan into the president. Their credulity ensures that the propaganda of half-calculating and half-mad fanatics has the power to change the world.

      How you see the believers determines how you fight them and seek to protect liberal society from its enemies. And I don’t just mean how you fight that object of liberal despair and conservative fantasies, the alternately despised and patronised white working class. Compulsive believers are not just rednecks. They include figures as elevated as the British prime minister and her cabinet. Before the EU referendum, a May administration would have responded to the hitherto unthinkable arrival of a US president who threatened Nato and indulged Putin by hugging Britain’s European allies close. But Brexit has thrown Britain’s European alliance into crisis. So English Conservative politicians must crush their doubts and believe with a desperate compulsion that the alleged “pragmatism” of Donald Trump will triumph over his undoubted extremism, a belief that to date has as much basis in fact as creationism.

    • Sanders on Trump: ‘This guy is a fraud’

      Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders accused President Donald Trump of falling short of commitments to middle-class voters, pointing to his Cabinet and senior advisers’ ties to Wall Street.
      “This guy is a fraud,” Sanders told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” Sunday.

      “This guy ran for president of the United States saying, ‘I, Donald Trump, I’m going to take on Wall Street — these guys are getting away with murder.’ Then suddenly, he appoints all these billionaires,” Sanders said.

      Trump selected Steve Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs trader and hedge fund manager, as his treasury secretary nominee; Wilbur Ross, a billionaire former banker, to lead the Commerce Department; and Gary Cohn, a top Goldman Sachs executive, to lead his National Economic Council.

    • A reminder: SchoolHouse Rock’s ‘Three Ring Government’
    • An Insanely Depressing Day In The Life Of Donald Trump

      While we’ve been selfishly worried about human rights and the economy, everyone forgot how truly terrible the Trump presidency must be on Trump himself. Luckily, I’ve managed to compile a definitive look into our brave new POTUS’s hour-by-hour struggle. Prepare for the seriously researched, definitive schedule of Donald Jamillah Trump that is in no way designed to antagonize him or his supporters …

    • Michael Moore trolls ‘so-called President Trump’ over his attack on judge

      There’s been a certain trend of late of attempting to insult hired professionals by placing “so-called” in front of their job title.

      A completely meaningless phrase, yet that hasn’t deterred Donald Trump from using it to attack the (definitely called, as it is his profession) federal judge who temporarily blocked Trump’s executive order banning entry into the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries.

      US District Judge James Robart, who was appointed by President George Bush in 2003, issued a temporary restraining order against the Trump administration’s restrictions, ruling that the ban would be immediately stopped nationwide.

    • Senate set for high-noon vote to confirm DeVos

      The Senate is poised to vote on Betsy DeVos’s confirmation as secretary of Education at noon Tuesday, with Vice President Pence possibly casting a tie-breaking vote backing President Trump’s controversial Cabinet pick.

      Republicans have only 50 votes behind DeVos with the defections of GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), which could lead to a historic moment for Pence.

      He would be the first vice president to ever cast a decisive vote in a 50-50 tie over confirming a Cabinet nominee.

      Pence would also be the first vice president to break a Senate tie since 2008, when then-Vice President Dick Cheney cast a vote on a tax adjustment plan.

      No Democrats are backing DeVos, and no other Republicans are expected to break with her, despite a last-ditch effort by the minority party to put pressure on the GOP.

    • MPs back John Bercow’s call for Donald Trump to be blocked from addressing Parliament

      MPs from across the political divide have voiced their support for Speaker John Bercow after he spoke out against Donald Trump addressing Parliament.

      In an extraordinary piece of political rhetoric in the Commons, Mr Bercow said he would not be inviting the US President to speak to the House because of its opposition to “racism and sexism”.

      “Before the imposition of the migrant ban I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall,” Mr Bercow said. “After the imposition of the migrant ban by President Trump I am even more strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall.”

    • Your Guide to the Sprawling New Anti-Trump Resistance Movement

      The election of Donald Trump was a catastrophe for progressive America, but the damage may be mitigated over the long term by a remarkable surge of energy on the left in response to his election. As many as 5.2 million people participated in hastily organized Women’s Marches across the country, senators’ phones have reportedly been jammed with calls protesting Trump’s cabinet nominees and other early moves, and, according to a poll conducted by The Washington Post, more than one in three Democrats say they plan to become “more involved in the political process in the next year” as a result of the election. That’s true of 40 percent of Democratic women, and almost half of self-identified liberal Democrats.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Inauguration Protesters Targeted for Facebook Searches

      On Wednesday, one of the individuals who was arrested at protests over the inauguration of Donald Trump received an email from Facebook’s “Law Enforcement Response Team.” (CityLab obtained the email from the individual’s attorney on the condition of anonymity for both the client and their representative.)

    • US House approves new privacy protections for email and the cloud

      The U.S. House of Representatives approved on Monday the Email Privacy Act, which would require law enforcement agencies to get court-ordered warrants to search email and other data stored with third parties for longer than six months.

      The House approved the bill by voice vote, and it now goes the Senate for consideration.

      The Email Privacy Act would update a 31-year-old law called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). Some privacy advocates and tech companies have pushed Congress to update ECPA since 2011. Lax protections for stored data raise doubts about U.S. cloud services among consumers and enterprises, supporters of the bill say.

    • Your Browsing History Alone Can Give Away Your Identity

      Advertisers would give just about anything to be able to lurk over your shoulder as you browse the internet. They want to know what sites you visit, how you get to them, how long you spend on them, and where you go next—along with as much personal information about you as they can get.

    • Cybersecurity subcommittee’s role outlined
    • Trump’s cybersecurity strategy kinda makes sense, so why delay?

      The draft policy leaves the scope of Trump’s cybersecurity advisor Rudy Giuliani undefined. “It’s an open question what he’ll do,” Bay told El Reg. Giuliani could occupy a similar role as Howard Schmidt, the cybersecurity coordinator of the Obama Administration.

    • Head of NSA to brief senators on cyber threats

      Senators on the Armed Services Committee will be briefed by a top intelligence official on cyber threats Tuesday morning.

      The hearing, which will be closed to the public, will feature testimony from Adm. Michael Rogers, who holds the dual-leadership role at U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency (NSA).

    • Michigan Ballot Measure Would Help Protect Electronic Data from Warrantless Spying

      A resolution introduced in the Michigan House would put before voters a state constitutional amendment to protect electronic communications and data from the prying eyes of state and local law enforcement. The amendment would also effectively block a small but intrusive practical effect of federal spying within the state.

    • Michigan Lawmakers Looking To Amend State Constitution To Add Protections For Electronic Data

      A ballot measure introduced by a bipartisan group of Michigan legislators is sure to encounter some heavy resistance on its trip through the lawmaking machinery. The proposal amends the state’s constitution to add a warrant requirement to data that law enforcement is used to obtaining without one.

    • Comcast, Verizon, T-Mobile & AT&T Issue Breathless Love Letter To Privacy With One Hand, Lobby To Kill All Privacy Protections With The Other

      As we’ve been noting, broadband providers have wasted no time pressuring Congress to kill the FCC’s new broadband privacy rules. These rules, passed last year, simply require that ISPs are transparent about what data they’re collecting and who they’re selling it to, while requiring they provide working opt-out tools. But the rules went further in requiring that broadband customers opt in to more sensitive data collection, including financial data. Given an informed, empowered consumer means less advertising revenue, ISPs quickly went to work throwing a monumental hissy fit.

    • Prosecutors to seek indictment against former NSA contractor as early as this week
    • Prosecutors may indict ex-NSA contractor accused of theft as early as this week
    • Federal prosecutors seek to indict ‘2nd Snowden’ this week
    • Former NSA contractor may have stolen 75% of TAO’s elite hacking tools

      On Monday, The Washington Post reported one of the most stunning breaches of security ever. A former NSA contractor, the paper said, stole more than 50 terabytes of highly sensitive data. According to one source, that includes more than 75 percent of the hacking tools belonging to the Tailored Access Operations. TAO is an elite hacking unit that develops and deploys some of the world’s most sophisticated software exploits.

    • Prosecutors to seek indictment against former NSA contractor as early as this week

      Federal prosecutors in Baltimore are expected to seek an indictment as early as this week against a former National Security Agency contractor who is accused of carrying out the biggest theft of classified information in U.S. history.

      The indictment against Harold T. Martin III is expected to contain charges of violating the Espionage Act by “willfully” retaining information that relates to the national defense, including classified data such as NSA hacking tools and operational plans against “a known enemy” of the United States, according to individuals familiar with the case.

    • Pennsylvania Court Shrugs Off Microsoft Decision; Says Google Must Turn Over Emails Stored At Overseas Data Centers

      Just south of the Second Circuit Court of Appeal’s district, a Pennsylvania (3rd Circuit) federal judge has come to (nearly) the opposite conclusion on law enforcement’s access to emails stored overseas. This case deals with two FBI SCA (Stored Communications Act) warrants seeking emails that Google says aren’t stored in the United States. Google, however, also says the sought emails could be at any of its data storage sites — which would include those in the US. It all depends on when it’s asked to retrieve the communications.

      And there’s where this decision parts ways with the Second Circuit, which found that emails stored in an Irish data center weren’t subject to US-issued warrants. The court explains [PDF] Google’s process for handling user data, which is built for efficiency, rather than what’s central to the FBI’s demands: efficiency of retrieval in response to law enforcement requests.

    • Google’s Chrome is about to get rather in-your-face about HTTPS

      Google and Firefox have been key drivers in the quest to get more people using HTTPS online, and starting this week the hammer is coming down.

      In a speech at Usenix Enigma 2017, Emily Schechter, a product manager for Chrome security, said that progress on HTTPS adoption was going well – currently over half of the top 100 websites support HTTPS and 44 per cent default to it. However there’s still a lot of work to be done, and she outlined future plans.

    • Chrome 56 quietly added Bluetooth snitch API

      LePage, in the video, says: “Until now, the ability to communicate with Bluetooth devices has been possible only for native apps. With Chrome 56, your Web app can communicate with nearby Bluetooth devices in a private and secure manner, using the Web Bluetooth API.

      “The Web Bluetooth API uses the GATT [Generic Attribute Profile – ed.] protocol, which enables your app to connect to devices such as light bulbs, toys, heart-rate monitors, LED displays and more, with just a few lines of JavaScript.”

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • John Yoo Thinks Presidents Can Legally Torture Children. Even He Has “Grave Concerns” About Donald Trump.

      In a New York Times op-ed today, John Yoo wrote the following words: “even I have grave concerns about Mr. Trump’s uses of presidential power.”

      That should get your attention, since Yoo, a fancy law professor at Berkeley, is best known for authoring much of the legal advice claiming the U.S. could legally engage in torture when he served in George W. Bush’s Justice Department.

      In fact, Yoo believed this so fervently that in 2005 he said that a president can torture children if necessary, and there’s nothing that Congress or international law can do to stop him.

    • Executive Power Run Amok

      Faced with President Trump’s executive orders suspending immigration from several Muslim nations and ordering the building of a border wall, and his threats to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement, even Alexander Hamilton, our nation’s most ardent proponent of executive power, would be worried by now.

      Article II of the Constitution vests the president with “the executive power,” but does not define it. Most of the Constitution instead limits that power, as with the president’s duty “to take care that the laws are faithfully executed,” or divides that power with Congress, as with making treaties or appointing Supreme Court justices.

      Hamilton argued that good government and “energy in the executive” went hand in hand. In The Federalist No. 70, he wrote that the framers, to encourage “decision, activity, secrecy and dispatch,” entrusted the executive power in a unified branch headed by a single person, the president.

    • Trump and Bannon Pursue a Vision of Autocracy

      Is Donald Trump in the process of transforming the United States into an autocracy? His first weeks in office make it look as though that is his aim. The president is hewing closely to the ideas of his chief strategist, making Stephen Bannon the most dangerous man in America.

    • CIA Woman in Torture Controversy Vaulted to No. 2 Slot

      For more than a year, former top CIA officials have assured anyone who would listen that the agency had no intention of heeding Republican Donald Trump’s campaign call to “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.”

      Likewise, the spy agency’s new director, former Representative Mike Pompeo (R-Mich.), promised Congress during his confirmation hearings that he would “absolutely not” jump-start waterboarding or other “enhanced interrogation techniques” that had been outlawed by President Barack Obama after years of exposés, scandals and bitter debate.

    • Basically The Entire Tech Industry Signs Onto A Legal Brief Opposing Trump’s Exec Order

      I’ve been quite clear how I feel about Donald Trump’s awful executive order that places a blanket ban on people entering the US (even if they had valid visas) from 7 countries, including a permanent block on Syrian refugees. Tons of people have been protesting this decision, and multiple courts have ruled against it. There has been some discussion over whether or not the tech industry was really going to stand up against this move, and some of the early statements about the executive order were a bit weak. However, late Sunday night, basically the entire technology industry (plus some companies from other industries as well) signed onto an amicus brief calling the order illegal and unconstitutional (technically, it’s a motion asking for permission to file the amicus brief, with that brief attached).

      The brief was filed in the Ninth Circuit appeals court, which is one of the first appeals courts considering the executive order, after a federal judge in Seattle issued a nationwide temporary restraining order on enforcing the exec order. On Sunday, the appeals court refused to reverse the lower court, keeping the TRO in place. However, it also gave both parties (the lawsuit itself was filed by the state of Washington) a very quick turnaround time to file written arguments to be considered.

    • San Francisco Police Department Kicks FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force To The Curb

      Generally speaking, federal partnerships are forever… especially in Forever Wars. Local law enforcement agencies have been working side-by-side with federal agencies since the Drug War began. The same goes for the War on Terror. Wars keep government agencies in good health, awash in perpetual funding and repurposed military gear. Local governments are seldom interested in ending these lucrative arrangements, whether or not the underlying activity is productive.

      But San Francisco already sees its supply of federal funding drying up. President Trump has made it clear he’ll cut off this flow to cities that care more about immigrants than he does. So, there’s some gamemanship in this move — one that sends a message to Trump while expressing some resignation to the eventual fiscal punishment to come. The city of Austin, Texas is doing the same thing, but fighting the battle on two fronts, as its decision to call itself a “sanctuary city” has also earned it the displeasure of the state’s governor.

    • Cambodia: Drop Farcical Investigation of Human Rights Defenders

      In a joint statement, Amnesty International, Civil Rights Defenders, Human Rights Watch, and the International Commission of Jurists call on the Cambodian authorities to immediately drop the politically motivated criminal investigation of human rights defenders Am Sam-at and Chan Puthisak. Sam-at, a respected human rights monitor at the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) for nearly 20 years, and Puthisak, a land rights activist from Boeung Kak Lake and former prisoner of conscience, have been accused of instigating violence at a 10 October 2016 peaceful demonstration.

    • The Mystery Woman

      I couldn’t understand back then why it would be challenging to have your husband watching movies with another woman when he never did so with you. How torn up inside it must feel to finally have a friend who spoke your language but having to negotiate that with the lust of men and their dominating Islamic patriarchy.

      There was an argument one day. My eldest sister, who would have been in her twenties, tried to calm my parents down. The argument was across the chasm; mum upstairs in her room, dad downstairs in the living room shouting, somehow the distance and volume didn’t ever impact the coherency of dialogue.

    • Innocent single mum, 23, dies of overdose after friends falsely told police she tried to smother child

      An innocent single mother who was framed for trying to kill a baby died of a drink and drug overdose after being told she would have to testify in court against her accusers.

      Jayne Pearce, 23, had been wrongly locked up in jail for three months charged with attempted murder after friends falsely claimed to police she had tried to smother the three month child – and then confessed on Facebook.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • New FCC Boss Kills Zero Rating Inquiry, Signals Death Of Net Neutrality Enforcement

      Surprising nobody, new FCC boss Ajit Pai used a flurry of late-Friday announcements to roll back a number of consumer-friendly FCC initiatives the former Verizon lawyer (and the large ISPs that already love him) didn’t like. Among them was the Wheeler-led FCC’s attempt to crack down on zero rating, the practice of an ISP exempting its own content from its own arbitrary usage caps, while still penalizing competitors. The former FCC had just belatedly ruled that both AT&T and Verizon’s zero rating efforts were anti-consumer, anti-competitive, and dramatically damaged the open streaming video market.

      That was then, and this is now.

      [...]

      There’s more than a little cognitive dissonance required to insist you’re a stalwart defender of “free markets,” then immediately turn a blind eye to the demolition of a level streaming video playing field by giant, lumbering monopolists. And, of course, this is just the opening cannons in the latest battle over net neutrality; while Pai gets to work refusing to enforce the agency’s existing FCC rules, the GOP is getting to work on a Communications Act rewrite that will not only kill the net neutrality rules, but defang and defund the FCC as a consumer watchdog altogether.

    • Mesh networking: Why it’s coming to a home or office near you

      There’s nothing new about mesh-networking technology. What is new is that mesh networking is finally cheap enough to be deployed in both homes and small businesses.

    • FCC chair stuns consumer advocates with move that could hurt poor people

      It’s no surprise that US Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai rolled back some of the changes made by former Chair Tom Wheeler. After Donald Trump’s election ensured that the FCC would switch to Republican control, Pai warned Wheeler against “midnight regulations” that can “quickly be undone” by new leadership. On Friday last week, Pai undid a few Wheeler-era decisions while saying that actions no longer supported by the commission’s majority “should not bind us going forward.”

      But one decision in particular is galling to advocates for low-income Americans who can’t afford broadband Internet service. As we reported, the FCC on Friday told nine companies that they can no longer provide subsidized broadband to customers who qualify for the Lifeline program. This 32-year-old program gives poor people $9.25 a month toward communications services, and it was changed last year to support broadband in addition to phone service.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • The New Caribbean Patent Convention And Caricom Stasis

      The creation of the Caribbean Patent Convention under the auspices of Caricom is a long awaited and most welcome development towards the harmonization of intellectual property laws in the region. Even more importantly, it is an indication that Caricom leadership has at long last, after a lengthy period of stagnation and indeterminacy, finally decided to engage the process of thought and action necessary for the promulgation of a legal and regulatory framework for Caribbean intellectual property. The convention is expected to be enacted later in 2017.

      Perhaps cocktails are in order, but for whom? Should Caricom nationals celebrate in anticipation of the realization of a substantial catalyst for innovation and trade? Should international firms with an eye on the region rub their hands in glee? Should those who have publicly pressed for action on intellectual property rights breathe a sigh of relief?

    • Trademarks

      • Wawa Versus Dawa: Trademark Dispute Blamed On A Need To Police That Doesn’t Exist

        We’ve made the point before. In the pantheon of trademark disputes, the most commonly trotted out excuse for overt protectionism is nothing but a headfake. While companies often proclaim their bullying actions are a requirement under trademark law’s provision for active policing of infringement, the fact is that this requirement does not mandate that companies roadblock any and all similar uses to their marks. Instead, the idea is that trademark holders cannot allow actual infringements to go unchallenged.

        For an example of the difference, we can point to the current dispute between two companies in the food mart business, Dawa Food Mart and Wawa Inc. The former is a single store in New Jersey that has operated for two years now. The latter is a mid-sized chain that only recently decided that Dawa infringed on its trademarks.

      • Wawa suing Dawa Food Mart in New Jersey for trademark infringement

        That means even the slightest hint of encroachment now warrants the attention of Wawa’s legal team, which is not very happy with a certain rhyming establishment in Paterson, New Jersey.

        According to The Courier-Post, Wawa has filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit against Dawa Food Mart, located at 15 Lafayette Street in Paterson, Passaic County.

        The Korean owner of Dawa Food Mart, identified only as Han in the report, explained to the Courier-Post that “Dawa” means “welcome” in his native language. The shop has been open for about two years now.

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